Lopez Holdings

 

Meralco chair Manolo Lopez takes over as Benpres chair and CEO 

Manuel M. Lopez has taken over as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of publicly listed Benpres Holdings Corporation (PSE: BPC), in line with the leadership succession process within the Lopez Group. Lopez is concurrent chairman of Meralco, the country’s largest electric utility.

Lopez’s assumption of office as chairman and CEO comes at an auspicious time. The holding company is pursuing the completion of its financial restructuring and is preparing to tackle new challenges in response to the development needs of the nation. The new administration is expected to attract new investments in basic service sectors in support of economic development.

“I expect a new, energized Benpres that will continue to be relevant to the investment community, and to the country as a whole,” said Lopez.

Under his leadership as Meralco CEO from 1986 to June 2010, he instituted a transformation program that made Meralco a more responsive, efficient and professional organization. During the period, the utility reduced systems loss from 21% to 8.15%, and power interruptions from a high of 37 times a year in the 1990s to average only 6 times currently.

Lopez is giving up his role as Meralco CEO on June 30 to become more active in the private family corporation Lopez Inc. and in Benpres, the Lopez Group flagship for investments in nation building. Benpres’s main assets are First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPHC) and ABS-CBN Corporation. FPHC is a leading investor in sustainable energy through First Gen Corporation, manufacturing through First Philec Corporation, construction through First Balfour, Inc., and property development through Rockwell Land Corporation and First Philippine Industrial Park. First Gen controls geothermal energy pioneer Energy Development Corporation, natural gas power generators First Gas Corporation and several hydro facilities.

ABS-CBN is the country’s largest multimedia news and entertainment content provider. Also under Benpres is maverick telco Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. while ABS-CBN controls Sky Cable Corporation, the country’s largest cable TV service provider. Sky and Bayan have been working in synergy to provide seamless delivery of ABS-CBN programming to avid consumers on broadband.

At the organizational meeting that followed the Benpres’s annual stockholders’ meeting on June 10, the board bestowed upon Oscar M. Lopez, company chairman and CEO since 1999, the title of chairman emeritus in recognition of his “exemplary and unselfish service to the corporation as its chairman for over 10 years and as a director for 17 years.”

In his remarks, Oscar M. Lopez praised his younger brother’s work ethic and genuine concern for all levels of the workforce. “I am certain he (Manuel M. Lopez) will lead Benpres and the Lopez Group investments toward new directions aligned with the values handed down to us by our forebears, and contributing to national development at the same time,” Oscar M. Lopez said.

Benpres chief finance officer (CFO) Salvador G. Tirona was elected to the Benpres board and subsequently appointed as president and chief operating officer, replacing Angel S. Ong who retired after 16 years of service. Prior to Benpres, Tirona was CFO of Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. and earlier, of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. He played a critical and strategic role in implementing Maynilad’s rehabilitation plan in 2003.

Also appointed at the Benpres board organizational meeting were ABS-CBN Corporation chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III as vice chairman and First Philippine Holdings Corporation chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez as treasurer.

Meanwhile, Benpres shareholders approved management’s proposal to change the company’s name to Lopez Holdings Corporation.

The name Lopez Holdings identifies the company more clearly as part of the Lopez Group, known for generations in Philippine business for the practice of enduring values – pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, nationalism, team work, strong work ethic, integrity, social justice, and concern for employee welfare and wellness.

Benpres was taken from the names Benito and Presentacion, parents of the late Eugenio H. Lopez, Sr. who founded the modern day Lopez Group.

The change of name will take effect upon approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Lopez Holdings Corporation 
16/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan St. corner United St., 1550 Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

  • Trunkline: (632) 8878 0000
  • Fax: (632) 8878 0000 ext 2009
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